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Annu Rev Microbiol. 2007;61:149-67.

Aggresomes and pericentriolar sites of virus assembly: cellular defense or viral design?

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  • 1Infection and Immunity, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, University of East Anglia, Norfolk NR4 7TJ, United Kingdom.


Virus replication and virus assembly often occur in virus inclusions or virus factories that form at pericentriolar sites close to the microtubule organizing center or in specialized nuclear domains called ND10/PML bodies. Similar inclusions called aggresomes form in response to protein aggregation. Protein aggregates are toxic to cells and are transported along microtubules to aggresomes for immobilization and subsequent degradation by proteasomes and/or autophagy. The similarity between aggresomes and virus inclusions raises the possibility that viruses use aggresome pathways to concentrate cellular and viral proteins to facilitate replication and assembly. Alternatively, aggresomes may be part of an innate cellular response that recognizes virus components as foreign or misfolded and targets them for storage and degradation. Insights into the possible roles played by aggresomes during virus assembly are emerging from an understanding of how virus inclusions form and how viral proteins are targeted to them.

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